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Journaliste d'un Jour (Journalist for a Day)

An edition of La Voix d'un Jour

Organization

La Voix du Nord

Contact details

Jean-Claude BERNARD
8 Place du Gal de Gaulle
59000 Lille
France
Tel: +33 3 2078 4040
Fax: +33 3 2078 2375
Email: webvdn@lavoixdunord.fr

Project partners

La Voix du Nord
L'Académie de Lille
Nord and Pas de Calais Region

Location

The region of Nord and Pas de Calais: the main city, urban and rural areas.

Background

This project was started in 1991 to educate teenagers about the newspaper industry and to encourage them to read newspapers.

Aims and objectives

Firstly, to offer young people the chance to be journalists - to gain an understanding of the constraints of the trade, the difficulties of writing succinctly, of making contacts - and to analyse information and see how it is perceived by the public. Secondly, to give the editorial staff on newspapers an insight into young people's perception of news.

Participants

Teachers. Students in their final year of high school.

Wider beneficiaries

1,200 high-school pupils, in 28 schools
60 teachers
20 professional journalists
27 economic partners

Involvement of children

After receiving help and advice from journalists, the pupils choose what issue they want to cover and how; they make contacts, arrange appointments, write, illustrate and distribute their newspaper.

A prize is awarded for the best features, the most original reports, and the most dynamic way of distributing La Voix du Jour (Voice of the Day) to passers-by each morning on local streets and at local stations.

Summary of project

For one week, pupils work together on news, features, comment columns and reviews. They are introduced to data-processing and use of the web, newspaper production, ways of working, and how to behave towards the public. They produce a 16-page tabloid newspaper, and the contents are checked by journalists of Voix du Nord, the regional newspaper of the north of France, and students of the Lille High School of Journalism. Text and images are transmitted down lines provided by France Telecom from six participating sites to a production team of 15 journalists and pupils of a high school and a technical school. There is also a daily report on the M6 TV network, and on Radio France.

Partners

Financial partners
La Banque Société Générale
Électricité de France (EDF)
Nord and Pas de Calais Region
La Sécurité Routière (Prefecture du Nord)
Renault

Cities
Arras
Dunkerque
Tourcoing

Technical partners
La Caisse de Sécurité Sociale Régionale
Le Centre Commercial V2
France Telecom
Le Furet du Nord
Hewlett Packard
Salomon
SNCF

Cost

Budget: around 1 million French francs (152,449 Euros)
Production 15 per cent
Salaries 30 per cent
Logistics/transport 35 per cent

Strengths of project

• Motivates students before the summer holidays.

• Enthuses all the participants, but also all establishments concerned with the courses.

• Inculcates discipline and the ability to work to a schedule, to conform to editorial guidelines, and makes students think about the quality of their writing, the news value of their subjects and the importance of punctuality and reliability.

• Many pupils include their participation in the project in their curriculum vitae. Some have developed careers in local government and even as newspaper correspondents, freelance journalists or illustrators. Some are talented cartoonists.

• The project has won two major national prizes: Union of the Advertisers of Paris, 1998, and Best Animation for a Commercial Space, 2000.

Challenges

The difficulties are marginal, because of the professional, disciplined approach of all concerned. It is a smooth operation, allowing room for innovations each year.

Evaluation

Journaliste d'un Jour is now a recognized regional event, providing young people with a chance to participate in a real in-house enterprise, and many want to repeat the experience.

At the start of the year, the project helps to bring the participants together as a team, fosters cooperative group work, stimulates them and encourages an appreciation of their interdependence.

Lessons learned

We can only encourage other titles to take part, but the positive results have attracted interest from teachers and other possible partners. Journal d'Alsace in Mulhouse and another regional newspaper serving Eastern France also run Journaliste d'un Jour projects.

The project allows young people to appreciate the commercial world, their communities and state services. They also make contacts, which can be useful for their future.

Sustainability

The young people say to us: "Now we understand how difficult it is to communicate information, we will read a newspaper with new eyes."

Some teachers say: "The pupils enjoy the experience and learn more in one week than in six months of schoolwork."

Good ideas

We would like to go even further with these young people, in particular to give them more opportunities to engage in the life of the newspaper and travel to meet young people in other countries.

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